Well, actually, no, and I suspect it is getting as frustrating for anyone else reading this blog as it is for me. However, I have thought to tack a sign to my trailer with a picture of a turtle on a bicycle (like me) with the caption "Can't Rush This!" (And if the music from M.C. Hammer's "Cant' Touch This!" has come to your mind, the association would be correct. :))
I am much closer now, of course, to starting my journey, but that means my brain is also kicking into overdrive (as it did last night until 4:00 this morning) to make sure I have thought of everything I can think of that I can do to better insure the success of my journey. In addition, it is reminding me of ideas for things to do that I've actually had all along, and now I am at the point of following through on those ideas as well.
In addition, I am having to be sensitive to the patterns of the changing seasons. With my original plan, I was going to head West and then North West, assuming I would be better off traveling away from the summer heat. Now, as I am seeing myself moving more into the middle of August, with September, and "fall" not far behind, I may decide to take my route more directly West instead.
Either way, the first few weeks of my journey are going to be HOT, which ultimately means I will not be able to spend as much time each day riding, so as not to get heat exhaustion, although I'm thinking I can accommodate that some by traveling more during the early morning or late evening hours. However, cycling in the evening is more hazardous and may require using more lighting/battery/solar power as well. In general, traveling in the heat means I have to be more sure of water sources and making sure my electrolyte intake is sufficient.
All these things I have to take into consideration, and better to imagine in as much detail as possible now, and plan accordingly, than to approach this in a haphazard way without really "thinking it through" first. I have a good brain, and it is quite good at "visualization" so I am using that capacity fully. And now that I am out of my house, but have a comfortable place to do this important part of my preparation, I want to be sure I do the mental as well as practical work that needs to be done.
As I mentioned above "Can't Rush This!"...(duh, duh, duh, dunt, duh, dunt, duh, dunt...Can't Rush This!...) (Imagine a Blue Turtle Dancing in Baggy Pants!)
Pedaling for Peace
On April 15, 2012 I started riding my bicycle cross-country from Jacksonville, Florida in voluntary support of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) and the work of author and Peace Leadership Director for the NAPF, Paul K. Chappell. By July 4th, I had covered over 1300 miles to just west of Luling, Texas where a major mechanical failure brought this first stage of my cross-country journey to an end. After storing my bicycle and trailer with my aunt and uncle in Weatherford, Texas, I flew from Dallas to Santa Barbara, California to attend the NAPF First Annual Peace Leadership Summer Workshop. I then lived and worked in Santa Barbara for several more months before I returned to Jacksonville and sold off the rest of my possessions that I could to help fund a continuation of my journey. Starting June 8, 2013 and ending August 9, 2013, I rode from Weatherford, through 400 miles of the central Texas hill country, including Austin, Texas, back to Luling. It was at this point that a friend of mine invited me to work for a brief period in Pennsylvania before flying me back to Santa Barbara where I continued volunteering for the NAPF as well as for the Santa Barbara Bike Coalition. As of August 9th, 2014 I began"Stage III" of my cross-country adventure, this time heading south from Santa Barbara to San Diego and then east to El Paso, TX. It was there that illness, winter weather, and diminishing resources brought that leg of my journey to an end. After staying with another friend in Columbus, GA for several months, I moved "back home" to Kentucky to stay with my dad for a while and build a better "resource base" for future endeavors including review and further tracking and primitive survival skills training at Tom Brown, Jr's Tracker School , and a possible longer tour of the east coast, northern tier, and north west coast back down to Santa Barbara, CA.